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Watchdog upholds five complaints against Eir over misleading ads

One of the ads failed to make clear that it extended the length of broadband contracts and increased the price.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS Authority of Ireland has upheld five complaints against Eir over a range of ads that were found to be misleading to customers.

All of the offending ads appeared online and concerned several different types of misleading advertisements. 

The company was found to be in breach of the advertising standards code for an advert for SIM only plans for existing Eir broadband or phone customers.

A man who signed up to the deal complained after he noticed that his broadband contract had been extended by six months and the price had gone up by €21 per month. 

Eir argued that it had clearly advertised this “re-contracting” however the committee found that the absense of information was misleading.

It told Eir to clearly indicate to consumers any terms or conditions that could affect their purchase decision. 

The telecommunications company was also found in breach of the code for an ad featuring an Eir fibre coverage map that claimed that fibre internet was available when it wasn’t, an ad that created an inaccurate impression about the length of a contract and a promotion price for a phone that had cost that amount for several months.

An ad for a phone that was no longer in stock also resulted in a complaint being upheld.

The ASAI’s complaints committee is an independent arm of the watchdog and is responsible for considering and dealing with complaints. The Committee is made up of a range of experts from the advertising, media, education, consumer and marketing sectors. 

It released a bulletin with rulings on 19 different complaints today.

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One of the more eye-catching complaints was leveled against a text message ad by health and beauty company Nature & Harmony.

The ad claimed that the company’s breast massages reduce the risk of breast cancer, increase breast size and prevent sagging. 

The complaint said that “the claims had no scientific basis and could not be supported”. It was upheld by the committee.

“The latest complaints bulletin from the ASAI illustrates our ability to handle complaints across a large number of mediums,” Chief Executive, Orla Twomey, said.  

The ASAI is committed to protecting consumers in relation to advertising – across all mediums – and our approach is to work with all advertisers to ultimately ensure that all marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest.

About the author:

Ceimin Burke

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